CHAPTER 29 | revealed

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📎A/N. Hello my lovelies. I hope you are all well and safe, especially those of you in Brussels. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

This chapter took a lot longer than expected to write, but I hope it was worth the wait. Oh, and before I forget *hides behind a large wall* this is the second to last chapter in CiNY.

Now, before you all start hurling things at me ... you did know it had to come to an end eventually ;)

I hope you enjoy the chapter. If you do, don't forget to vote.

Take care.

❤ ℳ

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Sydney stared blankly at the back of the driver's seat headrest. She was numb. Her brain refused to function. All she could think about was the horde of reporters and angry people crowded around her, pushing her from pillar to post; suffocating her, so that she couldn't draw breath. She felt a warm hand rest on hers and glanced up at Ethan, who was looking down at her with concern.

"Just breathe," he said as he squeezed her hand.

Sydney drew a deep breath and closed her eyes. All she could see, all she could feel was the swam as they surrounded her, removing her from the safe cocoon she had built up brick by brick over the years. In one fell swoop, her life was shattered. One breath became two, quickly followed by another and another until she felt lightheaded. Sydney reached for the door, the panic quickly turning her laboured breathing into a state of hyperventilation.

Ethan slid across the seat, placed a comforting arm around her shoulder and pulled her to him. Her head rested in the crook of his arm and he placed a light kiss on the top of her head. "Sydney, you need to calm down. It's over. They can't hurt you."

Without meaning to, Sydney relaxed into his body as he continued to stroke her hair, the feeling was oddly calming and hypnotic. However, before long, a sense of helplessness overtook her again and she let out a low moan. "What the hell am I going to do now?"

This was quickly followed by a glimmer of hope when she recalled how the reporters addressed her. "They used Victoria," she said pulling away from Ethan. "Perhaps they've not worked out who I go by now?"

Ethan shook his head and sighed. "That's not a chance I'm willing to take. Until things have settled, you can't go home."

Sydney glanced out the window and realised they were headed downtown. "I have to. I'm not going to put Grace or the others in the spotlight."

"That's why you'll be staying with me."

She snapped her head round to face Ethan. "Pardon?"

"It's all arranged. Grace is at your place packing stuff you'll need. A driver will bring her and your belongings. They shouldn't be too far behind us. I've also arranged for additional security at your mother's place for your brother. They'll keep the reporters away from Jackson while he's in New Hampshire and once he returns home."

"You can't get involved. It's not worth it," Sydney protested. "Just take me home before it's too late."

For some inexplicable reason, Ethan began to laugh at her panicked expression. "You're not getting rid of me that easily. I've already told you, you'll stay at my place until this is all over."

"I suggest you listen to him," Mason said from the driver's seat. "Once his minds made up, he rarely changes it again. Besides, driving a getaway car is the most exciting thing that's happened to me all week."

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